One day at a time

I’m still going strong on placement at the moment – just on the last couple of weeks, so I definitely feel pretty at home now in Oxford. Sometimes placement can feel a little bit like you’re plodding away one day at a time, though at others it feels like you’re on fire and really getting somewhere towards being a Cardiac Physiologist. So here’s a rundown of what a day on placement could be like!

07:15     My alarm goes off. I laze about in bed for about ten minutes before realising I should already have got up.

07:30     I finally roll out of bed, get ready for work, and have breakfast. All exciting things…

Sunny start to another day of placement

Sunny start to another day of placement

08:15     Grab my lunch and head off for work! My three minute commute across the car park means I get there on time today.

08:25     By the time I’m actually in the department, I arrive just in time for the last bit of the ECG staff meeting. We discuss what everyone’s doing for the day and any notices.

08:30     I head round to the ECG area to start off the day and do a couple of ECGs that have already come in.

09:00     I’m doing treadmills this morning, and our first treadmill patient has arrived. We take him round to the treadmill room and do the test. Treadmills are definitely not my favourite part of placement, but I’m struggling through them at the moment.

10:30     Our three treadmills tests for this morning are all done, so I head round to the analysis room to see if anyone is free to watch me do some ECG analysis. I am starting to feel more confident with this now, which is nice because this is actually an area I’m considering looking at for my third year project.

12:30     Off for lunch. I meet up with one of my old friends from secondary school that’s doing his project for medical school in the neurology department here. We meet up in the cafeteria and have a lovely lunch catching up with this term’s gossip and fun.

13:10     Back from lunch, and round to ECG to enjoy the quiet lunchtime lull until the doctor’s clinic starts again. We check everything’s ready for the monitors going out that afternoon and then have a chat!

13:45     Some ward work has come in, two ECGs and two monitors need to be done all over the hospital. I have to get the requests triaged and the monitors set up before I can go up to the wards with one of my colleagues.

14:00     And we’re off! First stop is a monitor in the trauma unit, and then another monitor right up at the top of the hospital – though because we’ve got the ECG machine we have the fab excuse of not being able to take five flights of stairs! What a shame…

14:20     Onto the ECGs. First stop is over in the Children’s Hospital, and then it’s over to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I’m quite nervous about doing ECGs on children; it always seems like it’s more important to get the positions right but it’s so much harder because they’re so much smaller! But I go up to the wards with my friend, and she knows I get nervous, and makes me do the ECGs anyway. What are friends for!

14:45     Back to ECG, where a bit of a back log has built up. Now it’s just working our way through the ECGs being sent round from cardiology, over from pre-operative admissions, and fitting the 24-hour ECG monitors.

16:00     It’s all quietened down here. The exciting bit of the day has arrived and we fill out all of the paperwork for tomorrow’s monitors, and clean down the rooms.

16:45     I’m finished for the day! Back to my accommodation and change out of my glamorous uniform. I fill out some of my university paperwork and grab a cuppa.

17:30     Off to the cinema. I’ve gone to see The Fault in our Stars with two girls that live in hospital accommodation near me. It was good, but very sad. It might have looked like I was crying, but I definitely just had something in my eye.

Table tennis antics

Table tennis antics

20:00     We’re back in Headington, but bored already.  Table tennis it is. I’m absolutely awful. Though I do have a moment of huge skill when I manage to hit the ball, bounce it off the net and straight back onto my glasses. Impressive – it certainly had everyone cracking up for the next five minutes…

22:00     I’m back in my room now. I’ve made my lunch (I think I proved that I rarely have time to make my lunch when I get up…) and am writing this blog and actively ignoring the mess and the pile of ECGs that need to be analysed.

23:00     Bedtime! Might be a bit earlier than usual, but I’m pretty tired by this point and need to wake up again tomorrow morning to do it all over again!

[Disclaimer: Some days are nothing like this! Sometimes I’ll be in one area all day, and then be shattered when I get back and just laze about watching Breaking Bad all evening!]

The sun sets on another day at the JR

The sun sets on another day at the JR

So, that’s been my day! I’m getting into the last phase of this placement, so I’m collecting evidence and getting my assessments all done. And then I’m off on summer holidays, which I’m really looking forward to! Lots of things that I want to do, especially as I think this will be my last proper summer holiday. That’s such a scary thought! Hmm, let’s try and forget that for now and just enjoy the sun!

Speak soon,


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